|Oklahoma City Barons forward Hunter Tremblay chases down Hamilton's Dany Masse. (Photo by Steve Christy Photography) |
An early goal by Hamilton's Andrew Palushaj was the difference as the Oklahoma City Barons dropped the fifth game of their best-of-seven North Division Final 2-0 to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The sixth game goes Sunday afternoon in Hamilton as the Barons try to avoid elimination, now down 3-2 in the series. FIRST PERIOD
Hamilton took the game's first penalty several minutes in as Brendon Nash was sent off for cross-checking. However, Oklahoma City was unable to generate anything on their first man advantage of the night.
With 13:37 to go in the first, Alex Plante
took a slashing penalty to give Hamilton their first man advantage of the evening.
It took the Bulldogs a minute and seven seconds to convert. Nigel Dawes took the initial shot on net which was stopped by OKC starting goaltender Martin Gerber but Aaron Palushaj picked up the rebound and lifted it over the shoulder of Gerber with plenty of bodies in front of the net.
Following the goal, the Barons started to take the play to Hamilton, pinning the Bulldogs in their zone for two consecutive shifts. The result of their hard work was another Oklahoma City power play as Nash took his second penalty of the night - this time for hooking.
The Barons were unable to generate much in the way of offence on that power play, either. As the period progressed, OKC took two successive penalties late. First, Hunter Tremblay
for hooking followed by Brad Moran for interference.
The home team's penalty kill was solid in holding off the Bulldogs each time and keeping it a one-goal game.
Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 8 to 3 for Hamilton. SECOND PERIOD
In the opening minute of the second period, Alex Giroux and Brad Moran skated in on a two-on-one. Moran tried to centre it to Giroux but the pass was intercepted by Drew MacIntyre.
On the next shift, Hartikainen drove to the net and nearly jammed the puck past MacIntyre. His shot was turned away but he was slashed on the play by Nash. The Bulldogs blueliner was sent to the box for his third penalty of the game.
15 minutes into the middle frame, shots on goal were 6 to 4 in favour of the Barons.
Penalty trouble for the Barons got in the way of scoring the equalizer. First, Chris VandeVelde
was tagged for goaltender interference and just as that penalty expired, Plante was sent off for hooking.
Oklahoma City was able to kill off both those penalties, but the Bulldogs scored late in the period to double their lead.
With 1:27 to play in the second, Nigel Dawes jammed home a rebound from the top of the crease past Gerber to increase Hamilton's lead to 2-0.
Shots on goal after two periods of play were 17 to 12 Bulldogs with Hamilton leading by two goals on the scoreboard.THIRD PERIOD
Dany Masse clipped Zack Stortini with a high stick early in the third period to put the Barons on the power play for the sixth time on the evening but again the Bulldogs penalty killers stood tall and kept Oklahoma City off the board.
Gerber came up with a huge stop with over 12 minutes to go in the third, denying Palushaj on a breakaway after the Hamilton winger tried to go five-hole.
Shots on goal with 5:52 to play in the final frame were 6 to 1 for Hamilton.
A cross-checking penalty to Alex Henry with 1:41 to play in the game gave the Barons an opportunity to cash in on a six-on-four advantage.
OKC put six forwards out there initially on the power play. The six forwards generated plenty of chances but could not convert on the bad ice.
Final shot tally in the third was eight apiece. Throughout the game, it was 25 to 20.